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Hello,

I have been doing rebates for years and there's been a recent trend lately where rebate processors will send you prepaid debit cards instead of checks. Personally, I prefer to receives checks as I can deposit it directly and not have to worry about losing the debit cards and incurring maintenance fees. As I was filling out a rebate from TigerDirect I noticed in the small print that I could opt for a check instead of a debit card. I plan on calling them first thing in the morning. I don't know how many other rebates have this clause. I plan on calling them first thing in the morning. Has anyone done this before?

Rebate Form Terms said: In the event you prefer a check and upon receipt of your Prepaid Visa Card, simply call the toll free number on the back of the card and follow the telephone-prompts. Once you enter the card account information, opt out to speak to a live customer service representative and request a check.

I've attached the original rebate form.

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not automatic unless it's their policy. yes. http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/791772/

I also heard this $10 was go... (more)

scripta (Jun. 02, 2010 @ 6:55p) |

I called Symantec and converted my prepaid VISA cards to checks in Jan. 2010, early April 2010, and 2 more yesterday.

NoMoneyInMyWallet (Jun. 26, 2010 @ 11:25a) |

I think part of rationale behind issuing these cards is the potential for small lingering balances. Let's say you receiv... (more)

WATCHNSCOTCH (Jun. 26, 2010 @ 12:32p) |

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.

Yea I read it somewhere so I tried it on a Staples rebate and got a check no problem.

Hmm...I just noticed there's no phone number on the back of my prepaid debit card. Anyone know the number for Citi Prepaid customer service? Thanks.

Alright...just ran around different Citi customer service call centers....the correct number to call for Citi Prepaid Cards is 1-888-219-1413.

I thought you can just bring the card to any bank and do a cash advance on it.

By the time you get the card, request the check, receive the check, and cash it, they'll have had the money for so much longer that they're willing to forgo the breakage and float they may have had on the debit card.

I always take my rebate debit cards and immediately use them to buy myself an Amazon gift card (the virtual kind that they immediately email you). Then I can immediately apply that gift card to my Amazon account, where Amazon will automatically apply it to my next purchase. It's quick, easy, there's nothing to lose, it avoids any breakage, and you don't have to deal with trying to convince a cashier to split your charge.

There is a rebate thread in a different forum.

You lose 3% (Amazon visa) and credit card protections (extended warranty) when using the gift cards. The other smart idea I've seen here was to pay utility bills. You lose 0-5% depending on which credit card you'd normally use.

I saw the same text for the first time recently on an Asus rebate, but it was processed by the same company as OP's (4myrebate.com). I haven't mailed mine yet, but if I get a debit card I intend to call and ask for a check. If enough people do it, maybe they'll consider making this a selectable option on the rebate registration pages.

scripta said: You lose 3% (Amazon visa) and credit card protections (extended warranty) when using the gift cards.
That first point only applies if you have an Amazon Visa. Even if you do, you're really only losing the 1% incremental you'd get over a Schwab or Fidelity 2% card.

As to the extended warranty, you can control whether you want to apply a gift card to a specific order. So, if you're ordering some expensive DVD player, you can put it all on your credit card. However, for many things Amazon sells (books, clothing, food, etc.) the extended warranty wouldn't apply anyway.

Contrary to my initial approach, I now prefer the cards:
* Unlike checks, that may come without envelopes and can easily get lost, damaged or hide inside junk mail - cards come like reg. letters, and with necessary exceptions, no private info is there for all to see (e.g. amount of check).
* I'm with TD bank - if my rebate card is > $20 I can add it to my deposit and they will run it through their machine and credit my checking account on the spot - no charge.
* Lastly, "recycle" - I can use the card at my local Staples - the deals are almost weekly anyway - skip the bank altogether.

ThePessimist said: As to the extended warranty, you can control whether you want to apply a gift card to a specific order.since when??? I've always had to place an order to zero-out my gift card balance, then place the order for something I actually want, then cancel the first order to get the gift card balance back.

ThePessimist said: By the time you get the card, request the check, receive the check, and cash it, they'll have had the money for so much longer that they're willing to forgo the breakage and float they may have had on the debit card.

I always take my rebate debit cards and immediately use them to buy myself an Amazon gift card (the virtual kind that they immediately email you). Then I can immediately apply that gift card to my Amazon account, where Amazon will automatically apply it to my next purchase. It's quick, easy, there's nothing to lose, it avoids any breakage, and you don't have to deal with trying to convince a cashier to split your charge.


Something you should know before buying Amazon gift certificates with prepaid debit cards: Amazon charges $1 temporarily to the card to make sure it is active, then charges the remaining amount. So if you try to use a $50 gift card to buy a $50 gift certificate, it will make the temporary $1 transaction, then try to charge $50 to a card that now has $49 on it and the transaction will fail.

For reference, I found this out a year ago when trying to use a Citi prepaid debit card I got by redeeming thankyou points. After it didn't work, I called Amazon's customer service when they told me about the temporary $1 charge.

They may have changed their policy since then, but hopefully this will save someone else an hour or so of frustration.

faloun said: ThePessimist said: By the time you get the card, request the check, receive the check, and cash it, they'll have had the money for so much longer that they're willing to forgo the breakage and float they may have had on the debit card.

I always take my rebate debit cards and immediately use them to buy myself an Amazon gift card (the virtual kind that they immediately email you). Then I can immediately apply that gift card to my Amazon account, where Amazon will automatically apply it to my next purchase. It's quick, easy, there's nothing to lose, it avoids any breakage, and you don't have to deal with trying to convince a cashier to split your charge.


Something you should know before buying Amazon gift certificates with prepaid debit cards: Amazon charges $1 temporarily to the card to make sure it is active, then charges the remaining amount. So if you try to use a $50 gift card to buy a $50 gift certificate, it will make the temporary $1 transaction, then try to charge $50 to a card that now has $49 on it and the transaction will fail.

For reference, I found this out a year ago when trying to use a Citi prepaid debit card I got by redeeming thankyou points. After it didn't work, I called Amazon's customer service when they told me about the temporary $1 charge.

They may have changed their policy since then, but hopefully this will save someone else an hour or so of frustration.


This is EXACTLY why prepaid debit cards are a pain to me. Most of my plastic spending (debit/credit cards) comes from restaurant and gasoline purchases where you can't spend the entire amount on the card because the card processors "chunk" off a portion of the available funds.

Jobowoo said: faloun said: ThePessimist said: By the time you get the card, request the check, receive the check, and cash it, they'll have had the money for so much longer that they're willing to forgo the breakage and float they may have had on the debit card.

I always take my rebate debit cards and immediately use them to buy myself an Amazon gift card (the virtual kind that they immediately email you). Then I can immediately apply that gift card to my Amazon account, where Amazon will automatically apply it to my next purchase. It's quick, easy, there's nothing to lose, it avoids any breakage, and you don't have to deal with trying to convince a cashier to split your charge.


Something you should know before buying Amazon gift certificates with prepaid debit cards: Amazon charges $1 temporarily to the card to make sure it is active, then charges the remaining amount. So if you try to use a $50 gift card to buy a $50 gift certificate, it will make the temporary $1 transaction, then try to charge $50 to a card that now has $49 on it and the transaction will fail.

For reference, I found this out a year ago when trying to use a Citi prepaid debit card I got by redeeming thankyou points. After it didn't work, I called Amazon's customer service when they told me about the temporary $1 charge.

They may have changed their policy since then, but hopefully this will save someone else an hour or so of frustration.


This is EXACTLY why prepaid debit cards are a pain to me. Most of my plastic spending (debit/credit cards) comes from restaurant and gasoline purchases where you can't spend the entire amount on the card because the card processors "chunk" off a portion of the available funds.


I always use my rebate card for gasoline purchase at Exxon gas station. I found out that some gas stations like Shell holds certain amount but for Exxon station, you can charge full amount of your rebate card without a problem

scripta said: ThePessimist said: As to the extended warranty, you can control whether you want to apply a gift card to a specific order.since when??? I've always had to place an order to zero-out my gift card balance, then place the order for something I actually want, then cancel the first order to get the gift card balance back.
It does use it as the default payment method. However, assuming you're not using one-click ordering, on the confirmation page you can click the button to change payment method, and that takes you to a screen where you can opt not to use the GC balance.

faloun said: Something you should know before buying Amazon gift certificates with prepaid debit cards: Amazon charges $1 temporarily to the card to make sure it is active, then charges the remaining amount. So if you try to use a $50 gift card to buy a $50 gift certificate, it will make the temporary $1 transaction, then try to charge $50 to a card that now has $49 on it and the transaction will fail.
They must have changed this. I have used at least 10 prepaid debit cards over the last half a year, in each case using the full balance to buy an Amazon GC. It worked the first time every time.

I routinely get Symantec and Staples rebates converted to checks. Checks arrive in a week or less. Its painless and fast. Much easier than dealing w/ balance remaining on the cards. Unfortunately McAfee rebate cards cannot be converted. OT, but I have a 5" stack of used rebate cards. Can they be recycled? What else can you do w/ them besides throw them away?

my4mainecoons said: OT, but I have a 5" stack of used rebate cards. Can they be recycled? What else can you do w/ them besides throw them away?
Donate them to a local school or daycare center for craft projects.

Keep a few to fill out a mugger's decoy wallet.

If you have an aquarium, they make great algae scrapers.

In a pinch, they also work to scrape ice off your windshield.

I use those cards to reload cards at Starbucks. You could also just pay a bill with it...when it's easy, I use them to pay for free-after-rebate items at Rite Aid which issues checks.

ThePessimist said:
Donate them to a local school or daycare center for craft projects. Just trying to imagine what craft they'd do w/ these.

Keep a few to fill out a mugger's decoy wallet. LOL. I'm in the sticks. No muggers.

If you have an aquarium, they make great algae scrapers. Great idea. I'll remember this for the next time I have a tank. I used to have snails for this but they multiply faster than bunnies.


Mithrin said: In a pinch, they also work to scrape ice off your windshield. In another month I hope to take the shovel out of the trunk but the scraper stays in the car year round.

melissa77 said:

I always use my rebate card for gasoline purchase at Exxon gas station. I found out that some gas stations like Shell holds certain amount but for Exxon station, you can charge full amount of your rebate card without a problem


Your local exxon station supports what's called partial authorization. Assuming both the merchant and the card support partial authorization, the gas pump won't get a $1 authorization back, rather they will get a partial auth worth the value of the card.

Its the wave of the future, but like anything will be slow to be adopted.

Can you use them to get Cash Back at a grocery store which would typically give you Cash Back if you pay with a debit card?

scripta said: since when??? I've always had to place an order to zero-out my gift card balance, then place the order for something I actually want, then cancel the first order to get the gift card balance back.
On last screen BEFORE palcing order, click to "Change you payment method" something like that near curent payment method and uncheck Apply gift card Balance.

faloun said: ThePessimist said: By the time you get the card, request the check, receive the check, and cash it, they'll have had the money for so much longer that they're willing to forgo the breakage and float they may have had on the debit card.

I always take my rebate debit cards and immediately use them to buy myself an Amazon gift card (the virtual kind that they immediately email you). Then I can immediately apply that gift card to my Amazon account, where Amazon will automatically apply it to my next purchase. It's quick, easy, there's nothing to lose, it avoids any breakage, and you don't have to deal with trying to convince a cashier to split your charge.


Something you should know before buying Amazon gift certificates with prepaid debit cards: Amazon charges $1 temporarily to the card to make sure it is active, then charges the remaining amount. So if you try to use a $50 gift card to buy a $50 gift certificate, it will make the temporary $1 transaction, then try to charge $50 to a card that now has $49 on it and the transaction will fail.

For reference, I found this out a year ago when trying to use a Citi prepaid debit card I got by redeeming thankyou points. After it didn't work, I called Amazon's customer service when they told me about the temporary $1 charge.

They may have changed their policy since then, but hopefully this will save someone else an hour or so of frustration.


'I agree' and 'I disagree'.. I had both the experience with Amazon GC.. at one instance, I was able to purchase entire $30 GC with $30 debit card.. however at-least at 2 different time I wasn't able to purchase $50 GC with $50 debit.. so I bought $25 GC first and next week I bought another $25.. (its a little hassle).. normally they take 4-5 days to release $1 hold.. and they hold $1 only at the first time when they see new card..

Assumenothing said: 'I agree' and 'I disagree'.. I had both the experience with Amazon GC.. at one instance, I was able to purchase entire $30 GC with $30 debit card.. however at-least at 2 different time I wasn't able to purchase $50 GC with $50 debit.. so I bought $25 GC first and next week I bought another $25.. (its a little hassle).. normally they take 4-5 days to release $1 hold.. and they hold $1 only at the first time when they see new card..
Yes, but how long ago was this? As I mentioned above, I've done this many times over the past several months without a single problem. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Amazon realized the problem and fixed it sometime during the past year.

I had the $1 pos pre-authorization problem just last month with McAfee $70 rebate. I never had that problem with using prepaid GC on Amazon before. I am not sure what triggered it this time, amount over $50? or if Amazon changed their authorization approach?. Anyway, I split my transaction into two, got $35 first time and another $35, five days later when $1 got reversed.

I live in california which has <$10 gift card cash out.

So this is what I do.

I go to Home Depot and purchase X x $10 Home Depot gift cards to match my rebate amount. I do this at the self checkout machine.

next time i make a small purchase ( i usually make them on an occasional basis anyways), i use the smallest denomination gc I have that will drop my gc balance under $10. bingo, Cash Back.

I've mentioned this several times on the Staples deal thread. Every time I receive a debit rebate card, I simply walk into my local Chase Bank and have them cash it out. No fees taken out. Don't even have to bank with them. They'll ask for your id but that's about it. You'll get cash for the full value of the card and don't have to worry about any hassle with thinking how much is left on the card after you have made a purchase.

my4mainecoons said: OT, but I have a 5" stack of used rebate cards. Can they be recycled? What else can you do w/ them besides throw them away?
My local best buy recycles them.

Uso said: I thought you can just bring the card to any bank and do a cash advance on it.

This is true but after reading this thread I guess people like to make their hoops and jump them.

use the debit cards to pay gym memberships, utility bills, and charitable contributions on line that you would have had to pay with a credit card anyway. decoy wallet use the debit cards with 0 balance.

For smaller rebate cards, i buy gas and opt to use prepay option. i have to walk in to the clerk and request the exact balance available on the card. works like a charm. able to extract last cent out of it.

Just buy another pre-paid merchant card, B&M. I usually buy Target or WalMart GC's as I only get 2% back there. Never buy Amazon gift cards due to 5% back on citi MTVu and citi forward

harumph!!! I've been converting Symantec rebate cards to check by just calling them up and they'd mail me a check. Just called and was told that as of Sept. 2009 they're no longer cashing out the cards. How did I miss that? I just converted a couple of cards but they were Staples cards. grrrr.

nativeamericansaver said: I've mentioned this several times on the Staples deal thread. Every time I receive a debit rebate card, I simply walk into my local Chase Bank and have them cash it out. No fees taken out. Don't even have to bank with them. They'll ask for your id but that's about it. You'll get cash for the full value of the card and don't have to worry about any hassle with thinking how much is left on the card after you have made a purchase.

Is it because the Staples prepaid debit card is issued by Chase or will they cash any prepaid debit card regardless of issuer?

Jobowoo said: nativeamericansaver said: I've mentioned this several times on the Staples deal thread. Every time I receive a debit rebate card, I simply walk into my local Chase Bank and have them cash it out. No fees taken out. Don't even have to bank with them. They'll ask for your id but that's about it. You'll get cash for the full value of the card and don't have to worry about any hassle with thinking how much is left on the card after you have made a purchase.

Is it because the Staples prepaid debit card is issued by Chase or will they cash any prepaid debit card regardless of issuer?


Its because you're having them do a cash advance, which virtually any bank will do for you. The Parago prepaid VISAs allow for cash advances.

<oops...question was already answered in a previous reply>

bassmanben said: I live in california which has <$10 gift card cash out.

would like a lil more info on this -- if i go under $10 on the gift card, will they automatically give me the balance in cash or only when I request it? and if i request it, by law, they have to give me the cash? thanks!

LL412 said: bassmanben said: I live in california which has <$10 gift card cash out.would like a lil more info on this -- if i go under $10 on the gift card, will they automatically give me the balance in cash or only when I request it? and if i request it, by law, they have to give me the cash? thanks!not automatic unless it's their policy. yes. http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/791772/

I also heard this $10 was going to rise to $20 as part of some new bill, but I couldn't find any details.

Skipping 2 Messages...
I think part of rationale behind issuing these cards is the potential for small lingering balances. Let's say you receive a $10 mail in rebate in the form of a prepaid debate card. You pick up a 6 pack of Victory Prima Pils after work, and pay for it with your prepaid card. The total was 9.38, leaving .62 on the card. I think most people at this point will toss the card, or simply forget about the remainder. Also, I'm sure it's possible to somehow track the spending attached to these cards. Information which can be used to monitor your spending habits, and create a customer profile.



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